A study from Iran, involving 303 pregnant women, has found that an unplanned pregnancy is linked to greater prenatal anxiety if the woman’s partner does not react positively to the pregnancy.
An unplanned pregnancy is associated with a higher chance that the partner does not react positively, particularly in lower income families. Meanwhile, the negative reaction of a partner predicts poorer mental health on the part of the woman.
The researchers recommend that, in the case of an unplanned pregnancies, partners need to react positively in order to safeguard the woman’s mental health. These partners need to the taught the skill of expressing positive reactions.
The measure of “partner’s emotional reaction to pregnancy” was developed and tested for this study. It consisted of 19 questions, such as, “observing fetal movement in my abdomen is interesting to my partner”, “the news of this pregnancy made my partner happy” and “I need something to happen to make my partner pay more attention to me”.
Kazemi A, Ghaedrhamati M & Kheirabadi G (2021), Partner’s emotional reaction to pregnancy mediates the relationship between pregnancy planning and prenatal mental health, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 21
Header photo: Julia Maudlin. Creative Commons.